New Delhi: A day before the swearing-in of a new council of ministers led by Manmohan Singh, the Congress party’s major ally, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), said it will only offer outside support to the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.
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The DMK won’t join the government, T.R. Baalu, a senior leader said, after the apparent breakdown of talks over the sharing of ministerial portfolios. While the move will not deprive the Congress of a majority in Parliament, it is a blow to the image of a united coalition the UPA attempted to project, post-elections.
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During the day, Congress leaders led by Pranab Mukherjee held several rounds of talks with DMK leader M. Karunanidhi in New Delhi to resolve the issue of sharing ministerial portfolios. According to a senior Congress leader, who didn’t want to be identified, the DMK had demanded five cabinet ministries, but the Congress was not ready to yield.
The Congress, which heads the UPA, is considering V. Kishore Chandra Deo, M. Veerappa Moily and Sushilkumar Shinde for the post of Lok Sabha speaker, said another party leader, who also didn’t want to be named. He also said the 15th Lok Sabha is likely to meet on 2-10 June. The swearing-in on Friday is scheduled for 6.30pm.
‘Reuters’ and ‘PTI’ contributed to this story.
Graphics by Paras Jain / Mint